What are the most recommended books matching 'style over substance'?

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#1

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon iron gates reads:

Opens at Nightfall

Closes at Dawn

As dusk shifts to twili... Read more about The Night Circus

The man billed as Prospero the Enchanter receives a fair amount of correspondence via the theater office, but this is the first envelope addressed to him that contains a suicide note, and it is also t...

#2

Reality bends all the more acutely with lack of sleep in this stunning novel from the master of the surreal.

Eyes mark the shape of the city

The midnight hour approaches in an almost-empty diner. Mari sips her coffee and reads a book, but soon her s... Read more about After Dark

Through the eyes of a high-flying night bird, we take in the scene from midair. In our broad sweep, the city looks like a single gigantic creature—or more like a single collective entity created by ma...

#3

A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends-the Liars-whose friendship turns destructive.... Read more about We Were Liars

Dad was a middling-successful professor of military history. Back then I adored him. He wore tweed jackets. He was gaunt. He drank milky tea. He was fond of board games and let me win, fond of boats a...

#4

**Now available to pre-order, MATRIX, the remarkable new novel from Lauren Groff**

'A really powerful novel' BARACK OBAMA

'Enough betrayal, vengeance and sex to read like one of the Greek tragedies' OBSERVER

'Rich, lyrical and rewarding.' PAULA HAWKI... Read more about Fates and Furies

Two people were coming up the beach. She was fair and sharp in a green bikini, though it was May in Maine and cold. He was tall, vivid; a light flickered in him that caught the eye and held it. Their ...

#5

"A brilliant achievement."

-Boston Herald

"Entertaining…profound….A novel for adults that unearths our buried fascination with the primal fears and truths fairy tales contain."

-Christian Science Monitor ... Read more about Mirror Mirror

LONG, LONG AGO, in the winter-time, when the snowflakes were falling like little white feathers from the sky, a beautiful Queen sat beside her window, which was framed in black ebony, and stitched. As...

#6

New York Times Editor's Choice

Twenty-two-year-old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded house outside Sacramento, surviving on the family's trust fund-money that his aunt, Helen, and seventeen-year-old cousin, Jennifer, are... Read more about Dirt

Galen waited under the fig tree for his mother. He read Siddhartha for the hundredth time, the young Buddha gazing into the river. He felt the enormous presence of the fig tree above him, listened for...

#7

Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, and Anthony Burgess have shaped our perceptions of Malaysia. In Tash Aw, we now have an authentic Malaysian voice that remaps this literary landscape.

The Harmony Silk Factory traces the story of textile merchant J... Read more about The Harmony Silk Factory

THE HARMONY SILK FACTORY is the name of the shop house my father bought in 1942 as a front for his illegal businesses. To look at, the building is unremarkable. Built in the early thirties by itineran...

#8

What do readers say about The Song of Achilles?

breathtakingly beautifulauthentic-sounding prosea retellinghomeric

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the... Read more about The Song of Achilles

MY FATHER WAS A KING AND THE SON OF KINGS. HE was a short man, as most of us were, and built like a bull, all shoulders. He married my mother when she was fourteen and sworn by the priestess to be fru...

#9

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when ... Read more about The Secret History

Does such a thing as 'the fatal flaw,' that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this:...

#10

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of w... Read more about Slaughterhouse-Five

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